Adrenalectomy for Bilateral and Recurrent Pheochromocytoma: Increased Intraoperative Risk?

Gockel, Ines; Heintz, Achim; Roth, Walter; Junginger, Theodor
March 2006
American Surgeon;Mar2006, Vol. 72 Issue 3, p232
Academic Journal
Adrenalectomy for pheochromocytoma is per se associated with a specific intraoperative cardiovascular risk caused by catecholamine secretion during manipulation of the tumor. Bilateral or multiple, and recurrent chromaffine tumors are special subentities with a potentially more intensified and longer surgical preparation. The aim of our study was to examine these effects on hemodynamic changes compared with those observed for primary, solitary tumors. Of the 82 studied interventions between February 1992 and May 2005, 58 were seen to involve primary, unilateral tumors, 17 involved bilateral (1 trilateral) findings, and there were 7 cases of recurrency. The hemodynamic changes related to primary, solitary pheochromocytomas revealed a higher frequency of intraoperative blood pressure crises (37%) compared with the comparative groups (11.8% in bilateral and 0% in recurrent tumors), as well as higher maximum pCO2 values noted. The intraoperative blood loss was more pronounced in interventions involving recurrencies. Aside from an appropriate preliminary therapy using an α-blocker and the careful surgical preparation of the adrenal gland, the different hemodynamic changes possibly may be related to the presence of smaller tumors in bilateral pheochromocytoma, as well as being based upon the already existent ligature of the draining vein in the event of recurrent procedures. The extent to which the adrenergic effect of the increased maximum pCO2 value plays a role on the development of higher maximum blood pressure values and more frequent intraoperative blood pressure crises continues to remain unclear.


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